BEFORE THE DAWN RECOVERING THE LOST HISTORY OF OUR ANCESTORS

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Before The Dawn

Author : Nicholas Wade
ISBN : 9780715642092
Genre : Science
File Size : 34.80 MB
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When did language emerge? How did our ancestors break out of Africa and defeat the more physically powerful Neanderthals? How did human nature change in the 35,000 years between the emergence of fully modern humans and the first settlements? In the last three years a flood of new scientific findings driven by revelations discovered in the human genome has provided compelling new answers to many long-standing mysteries about our ancient ancestors. Nicholas Wade takes readers to the forefront of research in a sweeping and engrossing narrative, the first to reveal how genetic discoveries are helping to weave together the perspectives of archaeology, palaeontology, anthropology, linguistics, and many other fields. Before the Dawn marks a major advance in our understanding of human nature and origins.
Category: Science

The Faith Instinct

Author : Nicholas Wade
ISBN : 1101155671
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 67.14 MB
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Noted science writer Nicholas Wade offers for the first time a convincing case based on a broad range of scientific evidence for the evolutionary basis of religion.
Category: Social Science

A Troublesome Inheritance

Author : Nicholas Wade
ISBN : 9780698163799
Genre : Science
File Size : 22.23 MB
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Drawing on startling new evidence from the mapping of the genome, an explosive new account of the genetic basis of race and its role in the human story Fewer ideas have been more toxic or harmful than the idea of the biological reality of race, and with it the idea that humans of different races are biologically different from one another. For this understandable reason, the idea has been banished from polite academic conversation. Arguing that race is more than just a social construct can get a scholar run out of town, or at least off campus, on a rail. Human evolution, the consensus view insists, ended in prehistory. Inconveniently, as Nicholas Wade argues in A Troublesome Inheritance, the consensus view cannot be right. And in fact, we know that populations have changed in the past few thousand years—to be lactose tolerant, for example, and to survive at high altitudes. Race is not a bright-line distinction; by definition it means that the more human populations are kept apart, the more they evolve their own distinct traits under the selective pressure known as Darwinian evolution. For many thousands of years, most human populations stayed where they were and grew distinct, not just in outward appearance but in deeper senses as well. Wade, the longtime journalist covering genetic advances for The New York Times, draws widely on the work of scientists who have made crucial breakthroughs in establishing the reality of recent human evolution. The most provocative claims in this book involve the genetic basis of human social habits. What we might call middle-class social traits—thrift, docility, nonviolence—have been slowly but surely inculcated genetically within agrarian societies, Wade argues. These “values” obviously had a strong cultural component, but Wade points to evidence that agrarian societies evolved away from hunter-gatherer societies in some crucial respects. Also controversial are his findings regarding the genetic basis of traits we associate with intelligence, such as literacy and numeracy, in certain ethnic populations, including the Chinese and Ashkenazi Jews. Wade believes deeply in the fundamental equality of all human peoples. He also believes that science is best served by pursuing the truth without fear, and if his mission to arrive at a coherent summa of what the new genetic science does and does not tell us about race and human history leads straight into a minefield, then so be it. This will not be the last word on the subject, but it will begin a powerful and overdue conversation. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: Science

Adam S Tongue

Author : Derek Bickerton
ISBN : 1429930292
Genre : Science
File Size : 59.97 MB
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How language evolved has been called "the hardest problem in science." In Adam's Tongue, Derek Bickerton—long a leading authority in this field—shows how and why previous attempts to solve that problem have fallen short. Taking cues from topics as diverse as the foraging strategies of ants, the distribution of large prehistoric herbivores, and the construction of ecological niches, Bickerton produces a dazzling new alternative to the conventional wisdom. Language is unique to humans, but it isn't the only thing that sets us apart from other species—our cognitive powers are qualitatively different. So could there be two separate discontinuities between humans and the rest of nature? No, says Bickerton; he shows how the mere possession of symbolic units—words—automatically opened a new and different cognitive universe, one that yielded novel innovations ranging from barbed arrowheads to the Apollo spacecraft. Written in Bickerton's lucid and irreverent style, this book is the first that thoroughly integrates the story of how language evolved with the story of how humans evolved. Sure to be controversial, it will make indispensable reading both for experts in the field and for every reader who has ever wondered how a species as remarkable as ours could have come into existence.
Category: Science

First Migrants

Author : Peter Bellwood
ISBN : 9781118325896
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 21.26 MB
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The first publication to outline the complex global story of human migration and dispersal throughout the whole of human prehistory. Utilizing archaeological, linguistic and biological evidence, Peter Bellwood traces the journeys of the earliest hunter-gatherer and agriculturalist migrants as critical elements in the evolution of human lifeways. The first volume to chart global human migration and population dispersal throughout the whole of human prehistory, in all regions of the world An archaeological odyssey that details the initial spread of early humans out of Africa approximately two million years ago, through the Ice Ages, and down to the continental and island migrations of agricultural populations within the past 10,000 years Employs archaeological, linguistic and biological evidence to demonstrate how migration has always been a vital and complex element in explaining the evolution of the human species Outlines how significant migrations have affected population diversity in every region of the world Clarifies the importance of the development of agriculture as a migratory imperative in later prehistory Fully referenced with detailed maps throughout
Category: Social Science

Masters Of The Planet

Author : Ian Tattersall
ISBN : 9780230108752
Genre : Science
File Size : 52.62 MB
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An award-winning Museum of Natural History curator and author of Becoming Human traces the evolution of homo sapiens to demonstrate how they prevailed among other early humans because of their unique cognitive ability, in an account that also explains how their superior mental abilities were acquired. 40,000 first printing.
Category: Science

Prehistory

Author : Colin Renfrew
ISBN : 9780812976618
Genre : History
File Size : 58.30 MB
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In this invaluable, brief account of human development prior to the last four millennia, Colin Renfrew delivers a meticulously researched and passionately argued chronicle about our life on earth, and our ongoing quest to understand it.
Category: History

Born In Africa

Author : Martin Meredith
ISBN : 9781586488383
Genre : History
File Size : 53.45 MB
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Africa does not give up its secrets easily. Buried there lie answers about the origins of humankind. After a century of investigation, scientists have transformed our understanding about the beginnings of human life. But vital clues still remain hidden. In Born in Africa, Martin Meredith follows the trail of discoveries about human origins made by scientists over the last hundred years, recounting their intense rivalry, personal feuds, and fierce controversies as well as their feats of skill and endurance. The results have been momentous. Scientists have identified more than twenty species of extinct humans. They have firmly established Africa as the birthplace not only of humankind but also of modern humans. They have revealed how early technology, language ability, and artistic endeavour all originated in Africa; and they have shown how small groups of Africans spread out from Africa in an exodus sixty thousand years ago to populate the rest of the world. We have all inherited an African past.
Category: History

An Intelligent Person S Guide To Education

Author : Tony Little
ISBN : 9781472913128
Genre : Education
File Size : 87.57 MB
Format : PDF
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Tony Little is The Head Master of Eton. One of the most progressive and imaginative people in British education today he has hitherto kept a low profile. This book, published to coincide with his retirement, sets out his educational fundamentals. There is a crisis in the British education system. Year on year GCSE and A Level pupils post better exam results, with more students achieving top grades. Yet business leaders and employers complain bitterly that our schools are not producing people fit for purpose. Far from being locked in an ivory tower, a bastion of privilege, Mr Little has used his time as a teacher and headmaster to get to grips with fundamental questions concerning education. He wants to produce people fit to work in the modern world. How do children absorb information? What kind of people does society need? What is education for? Not only is the author one of the great reforming headmasters of our time but he has planted Academies in the East end of London, founded a state boarding school near Windsor and yet is a passionate advocate of single sex schools. This book is not a text book for colleges of education - it is a book to enlighten the teaching profession and just as much for anxious parents. The book is simply arranged under topics such as authority, expectations, progress, self-confidence, sex, crises and creativity. Tony Little thinks it is time to ask some fundamental questions, and to make brave decisions about how we make our schools and our schoolchildren fit for purpose.
Category: Education

After The Ice

Author : Steven Mithen
ISBN : 0674019997
Genre : History
File Size : 41.41 MB
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Brings to life fifteen thousand years of human history in a study that follows an imaginary modern traveler who visits and observes prehistoric communities and landscapes that laid the foundations of the modern world.
Category: History